Obamacare: Reducing Access to Health Care

There’s been a lot of attention paid to how Obamacare has expanded the number of Americans with insurance coverage. But, health insurance is only as valuable as a patient’s ability to receive actual health care. And on that front, Obamacare is failing – actually reducing access to health care. Because of this flawed law, plans have been cancelled, networks have narrowed, and there are fewer medical professionals providing care.

Obamacare needs to be repealed so patients not only have insurance, but also access to the level of quality care that best serves their individual needs.

THE FACTS:

·Despite the President’s promise, “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” – labeled by PolitiFact as the 2013 Lie of the Year – several hundred thousand people across more than a dozen States lost their plans due to the cancellation of policies that did not satisfy the coverage requirements mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

·Choice of plans on the Obamacare insurance exchanges for 2017 has been significantly restricted across the country, according to a recent report. At the county level, on average only 3.2 plans are participating per county, down from 5.2 issuers in 2015. Five states – Alaska, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming – will only have one participating health plan per state.

·Access to care is more limited since Obamacare took effect, as more health plans offer narrower networks – limiting the number of physicians and hospitals covered under the plan – in an effort to reduce costs while still offering plans that meet the requirements mandated by the ACA. As reported by McKinsey & Co., 2017 exchange plans continue to favor narrow networks, yet prices continue to rise.

·According to another study, Obamacare networks have 34 percent fewer providers compared to commercial plans. On average, Obamacare plans have 42 percent fewer oncologists and cardiologists and 32 percent fewer primary care physicians.

·For many patients, especially those in rural areas, there are too few in-network providers, and patients are forced to travel long distances to find a hospital and doctor.